Is New Brunswick Weird? 4 super oddball cool things to do in NB.

Is New Brunswick Weird?

As a native New Brunswicker, I don’t think so, but I have to admit that there are some freaky things going on here.

We have a hill that pulls your car uphill; we have a river that changes direction every 8 hours. And we have tides so low that you can walk on the ocean’s floor; if those things aren’t weird, than I don’t know what is?

Cover w logo

Here are a few wonderfully weird things to do and see in New Brunswick! Because let’s face it, normal is boring!!

#1 Super Oddball Cool thing to do in New Brunswick – Sleep in a castle!

4AFD5BE1-65A7-40A1-A4DE-EBD5005BD4DD

Growing up I’ve always wanted to live in a castle; to be honest I still do.
How many Canadian cities can brag about having a giant castle in the center of their city? And how many of those can you spend the night in?? Soooo…I don’t know the answer to either of those questions; these are rhetorical questions, obviously! My point is, that there probably aren’t that many?!

I do know of a castle that you can sleep in and it’s right here in New Brunswick! Castle Manor, in Moncton, rents out rooms via Airbnb. Sleeping in a castle is our first awesomely weird thing to do in NB.

crown

Fun fact; when I was a little girl I believed that the Friendly Giant and Rusty lived in Castle Manor. I suspect one of my older cousins told me that fun fake fact and I whole heartily believed them…for a long time.

If you don’t know who the Friendly Giant is? I feel bad for you; it was just the best children’s television program ever! It ran in Canada from 1958 to 1985; think Mr Rogers, but as a giant with a giraffe and a rooster as his side kicks; oh and he played the recorder…oh and every episode ended with a cow jumping over the moon; why? Why not! Look up, waaaay up and google it! Ok, I digress…back to sleeping in castles.

I am not going to lie, after decades of driving past Castle Manor, I was soooo excited to have the opportunity to go in and check it out.

It’s been completely renovated and it’s beautiful!! They have 13 units that you can rent; each comes with a full kitchen, washer, dryer; everything you will need while traveling and more! Each unit has it’s own unique layout and they have done their best to incorporate and keep historic structural pieces.

2E523CD4-7E81-4FB1-AF09-407EE48E368A

I wish I had realized that these were available to rent when I was traveling back from Las Vegas on a regular basis last year. These are perfect for business travelers or families on vacation.

The penthouse suite is gorgeous!!! I could see myself living here; with my crown of course!

69C262D2-191E-438D-9A14-6613C5C4E5BE

Many of the units have exposed stone walls; they have kept the original staircases and stain glass; no expense was spared!

2A86D687-EF45-44F8-90B4-5B1ADEDB0B24


Please note that the rooms don’t come with crowns, so you’ll need to bring your own.

A339028A-8421-4FD3-A257-A2CA0123F591

Now can you spend the night in a Castle without a crown? Yes, of course you can; don’t be silly. But should you? My answer is no; my mother always told me to go big or stay home. And if wearing a crown isn’t appropriate in a castle then where can one wear a crown?? And honestly if you’re going to do oddball fabulous things, then be a fabulous oddball while doing them, for goodness sake.

29C50E1C-2828-4A23-BA96-C7CAD88559E3

Now did I go a bit too far with my crown pics? Yes, of course I did; that’s just how I roll! 👸

#2 Super Oddball Cool thing to do in New Brunswick – Chill out with a gang of alpacas

B67A9123-9F1B-4C1D-925F-2555D8ED6385

Have you tried goat yoga? FYI don’t wear your best Lululemons, the goats will poop all over them! Goats are so 2019; Alpacas are way cooler!

FB9162B4-0029-4089-BDD3-057E53C941AB

Seriously alpacas are having a moment at the moment, which is great timing because hanging with a gang of alpacas is our second awesomely fabulous thing to do in NB.

I recruited two of my cousins to help me with this visit. They are crazy…I mean they are crazy animal lovers; so I thought they would love being up close and personal with a gang of alpacas and I was right!

teaser

We visited Petitmore Alpacas in Harcourt, NB and you really need to visit them too! I must say that the hour we spent with the owners, Janet, Bart and their family of alpacas filled our hearts with joy; and I am not even being dramatic!! We had smiles on our faces the whole time.

We fell in love with Charlie and Ruthy, two of their females with big personalities. We got to feed them lots of apples and it turns out alpacas love taking selfies! Who knew??

486A55F4-2A20-4F60-A2AE-44D65F30D95B

Above, Charlie and I discovering that we go to the same hairdresser for our highlights, lol!!

As if spending the afternoon with a farm full of alpacas wasn’t fun enough; guess what else you can do there? Shop!!!
They have the softest and the most amazing, hand made, hats, socks and more! This is your opportunity to shop local!!! 

FCEA5FB8-5959-46B9-9D14-4E186D387B4D

Here we are showing off our new tuques! We also placed an order for matching ones; you can buy off the rack or place a custom order. To be honest, it was an excuse to go back in the spring! Crazy cousins, from left to right; Brigitte, Liette and Tantan, aka Tania.

Please follow Petitmore Alpacas on Facebook @Petitmorealpacas and check out their hours of operation. During the winter months they are only open by appointment; but will be opening with all the bells and whistles in late spring ish. And if the rumors are true, there maybe as many of 6 new baby alpacas come this spring!
#3 Super Oddball Cool thing to do in New Brunswick – Ice Caves

6DBB90D0-EA2E-483E-8B18-B4F26EB8F914

Do you struggle to find fun activities to do with your kids or your posse during the winter? You could go for a regular walk in the woods; or you could explore Midland’s ice caves.

The caves are actual waterfalls that have completely frozen up. Someone breaks two holes in the ice to make an entrance and and exit and voilà, ice caves! You can walk behind the frozen falls, making it feel like a cave.

This outing includes:

– A bit of cardio: That first 30 min or so are uphill; I liked that the uphill part was right at the beginning. It’s mostly a slow incline so it’s not so bad. I was feeling the burn by the time I made it to the top though.

8EFD507E-36CB-4C4E-ADF7-293E158FAB19

– A relaxing, breathtaking and beautiful walk in the woods: The walk through the woods was so relaxing and the smell of fresh air was so invigorating! Man I love NB!!
Here’s a tip; dress in layers. The uphill portion was a bit windy and cold, but once you get in the woods you’re sheltered from the wind so it gets hot!!

– An adrenaline rush for all the adrenaline junkies out there: Depending on the weather, the hill leading down to the caves can be slick and icy?
Remember that once you get down, you need to eventually get back up! There are ropes that you can use to pull yourself back up.

As soon as I got down, I started contemplating how the hell I was going to get back up; and by contemplating, I mean worrying. I ended up going with the bear technique; which is climbing on your hands and knees. I followed a family; the mother kept saying; stay low and crawl like a bear. I figured if those directives were good enough for her kids, they were good enough for me!! I just feel in line with them; ok, I butted in the line between her kids and the dad. Making it back up the hill was enough adrenaline for me.

Metal spikes on your boots wouldn’t be a horrible ideas… just saying.

7676675B-FB40-437D-915B-07A685122D79

In order to get into the caves, you need to crawl up to the entrance; most ended up sliding in on their bellies or getting pulled in; neither were graceful in case you were wondering.
And to get out you needed to slide down a solid ice slide. A fresh layer of snow would have made the conditions less icy and less dangerous.

The odd look on my face in the pic below is me making the decision that I wasn’t crawling in there!! This is my; “yeah, no!” face.

The line to get into the cave was a bit long; it was very entertaining to watch people figure out what their cave entrance strategy was going to be? Everyone waiting in line were very supportive and encouraging of each other. What I love about Canadians is that we can respectfully make fun of perfect strangers in such a way that no one gets offended; so waiting in line was my favorite part…well it was fun once I decided I wouldn’t be going in. I just pictured myself falling on my face in front of everyone; but it turns out my brother didn’t get the scardy cat gene, so he was ready and psyched to check it out.

FC96C4F3-2148-4AA9-8358-A4343EEB4274

While I was people watching the only two people who made it in and out with a bit of dignity and grace were some 5 or 6 year old boy, who was obviously high on sugar or hyper active? And my brother, who turns out is very graceful and gazelle like.

– The perfect backdrop for next year’s family Christmas cards: It didn’t matter where you stood, the backdrop was beautiful! And the lighting in the woods in the afternoon is magical, no filters in the pic below.

210B0A33-0F58-448A-8929-0870E4CF7470

– It’s also a dog lover’s paradise; which is similar to a Gangsters Paradise. Not sure how many of my readers will get that reference? Lol.
Our journey back was a bit longer than it needed to be due to the fact that we needed to stop and pet every dog we encountered on our way down the hill.

#4 Super Oddball Cool thing to do in NB – Learn a new language!

As if being the only officially bilingual province in Canada wasn’t cool enough; we’ve invented a third; it’s called Chiac.

It’s a combo of English words mixed in with a French base. It’s pretty easy to master once you get the hang of it; example: chu right fatigué. Translation; I am so tired. You can pretty much replace the French word, tellement, which means very, with the English word, right and you’re half way there. You can also replace “I”, which is “je” in French with “ej” or “chu”; and congratulations! You’re speaking Chiac!

Now I’ll get you to the intermediated level; ready? OMG y’était right tannant au party hier soir! Le party était right lame, anyways, on la ditché. Translation; he was such a pain in the ass at the party last night that we ditched him.

3662912E-99FC-4655-8B8D-2DC4FA1CA668
I love these Chiac t-shirts, they are from @dowdstreetstudio, check them out on Insta.

Two words that Acadians love to use are; tannant, which means pain in the ass and picasse, which means cranky. So if you are in the region and someone calls you tannant or face picasse, it’s not a compliment.

Your last lesson will get you through the most important part of your day; ordering your coffee at Tim’s. Here we go; ej prendra un large double double svp.

So is New Brunswick weird?? Maybe so? But only in the most amazingly fabulous way!! Find yourself a few like minded weirdos and get out there and explore!!

Hey, do you know of any fun, weird things to do in NB?? If so, please let me know.

Thank you for reading and please share!!!

muah!

Liette (your favorite NB weirdo)

Bonus funny facts and outtakes

The picture below looked like a lovely shot of the frozen falls and the people waiting for their turns. Until I noticed something a bit disturbing; check out the arrow; it looks like the legs of a dead woman. She was actually not dead, but being pulled into the cave, lol. See I wasn’t lying when I said that there was no graceful way in!!

5FC294D9-D96E-4259-AB26-8FCFBFDCCFB6

Brigitte and I considered getting these at Petitmore Alpaca Farm, but decided on something a little less….extra.

C215BF39-00DD-4943-A576-49136D4BAD71

Another, behind the scenes secret; turns out alpacas can be a bit skittish, so it’s good to use your inside, quiet, voice. I kept having to remind Brigitte of this, but the alpacas were just too cute and she had a hard time controlling her excitement. She also wanted to take one home with her; and by one, I mean like 5!

DD0F206B-49F0-4E98-8FDD-E6F0B96D5CC7

 

 

Lost in London

Lost in London – The fine art of finding more while lost.

My day job consists of organizing and planning  things; so one might assume that when I travel everything needs to be all planned out?

That’s actually not the case at all. I don’t like trips that are too structured; I do enjoy an organized tour or two, but I also love exploring freestyle. Getting lost in side streets is the best way to experience a new city.

On my recent trip to London; I was reminded, more than a few times, that I have a horrible sense of direction, lol.

In my defense, I’m lazy; when roaming with others I like to let them take the lead. Always being “the boss” can be exhausting! During my off time, I like to give up control and let others figure out where the hell we are and how the hell we’re going to get to where we’re going.

When I am alone I do make a point to pay more attention to my surroundings and I google map stuff. But there’s a freedom to not knowing exactly where you are. Instead of going from point A to point B; look around and pop into anyplace that look interesting.

5F1E9B6E-ABA8-4C43-BBAD-C016269ADFC4
Vintage Louis Vuitton cases, chocolats in Harrod’s and and fancy white swans; so much to see!

My favorite travel days are when I have a general idea of what I want to do and see, but I’m free to roam and explore. I love just happening upon things.

I also love when you tell your travel companions; hey let’s buy crowns and wear them to Buckingham Palace and their first reaction is yes!! Let’s!

Who you’re traveling with can make or break your trip. Just because you’re great friends with someone doesn’t automatically mean you will be great travel buddies…just saying.

F14E6223-29BD-40F9-A134-A5EF0E65A3C3

After our palace visit, my fellow royals and I made our way to towards SoHo. There are so many different areas with cool shopping and dining options; it’s impossible to see them all. So pick one or two areas to get lost in.

407780DF-1005-419B-AD7C-01EDF68053CD
My exploring partner and I. We eventually took off our crowns. 👸👸🏼

I can be difficult to roam freely in a large group; hey, not everyone has the same interests, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Once in SoHo we quickly discovered that finding a lunch place that appealed to all six of us would be almost impossible.

One of us, probably me, decided we should split up. And instead of being offended, the rest of the group seemed relived. It’s perfectly fine to break up into smaller groups or to venture out alone and meet up later.

I partnered up with Alex and I’m pretty certain that our four other colleagues thought that we would get lost the moment we split; Alex is also directionally challenged.

We spent the afternoon popping in and out of funky places. Some of our colleagues prefer to read the full menu posted on the door before deciding if a restaurant is suitable or not, which is perfectly fine.

Alex and I took a different approach; our lunch venue was selected because they had funky green couches and shiny chandeliers. Once seated we knew we had made the right choice when we saw that they had a section on their menu dedicated to boozy hot chocolates.

After lunch we shopped in super cute boutiques; it was a fabulous afternoon. And guess what? We made it back to the hotel all by ourselves, crowns and shopping bags in hand!

I hope you enjoyed my London adventures; my next trip is San Diego. I will try to pencil in a day or afternoon to get lost there too.

I challenge you to get lost somewhere; and guess what? You don’t even need to leave your hometown. I am certain that there are places that you drive by all the time that you’ve been meaning check out. Take an hour and be a tourist in your own town!! Get lost!!

Cheerio, muah!

Liette

02C06C80-800B-40D0-BC9B-E8CE1DCD5EE9

I know a lot of my readers like to see my oddball purchases. I do love all those tacky touristy shops! Here are my finds from my Lost in London afternoon.

I got a few postcards for my blog board, tacky red double decker salt and pepper shakers; I had bought a pair of these a few years ago for my then bf, now have my own. And some colorful macaroons from Harrod’s.

502B7646-3900-4F1A-B94B-7FED974A7B4C

E672A591-C2A2-4585-94A6-50033AA0AEE7

On every trip I get a print or post cards that I frame. I love having reminders of where I have been hanging on my walls. I bought this print, see above, it spoke to me! 💋

The two pics below were cards that I bought in a stationary shop on my last trip to London. The frames were cheap, but the finished look is fancy! I love them.

8CE678D0-9D07-48A5-8C6C-2442A8103906

To see what my latest London prints and cards will look like framed, follow me on Facebook at @oui-liette. I am going to do a mix of store bought frames and custom framing.